Escalating US airstrikes across northern Afghanistan have pushed Taliban forces away from the key city of Kunduz, which Taliban have actually captured at times in recent years. Officials are trying to brag about this as a big victory.
It doesn’t look like it from within Kunduz, however, as locals report that the city is every bit as troubled, and even if it doesn’t seem like the city is facing imminent takeover, crime and corruption are soaring.
Instead of fearing Taliban, locals now fear random gunmen, who rob anyoe they think has any money, and routinely kidnap people, holding them for ransom, a tactic previously common with the insurgency.
The Taliban isn’t so far from the city either, so traveling much of anywhere risks being caught in the cross-fire of ongoing military operations in nearby villages, leaving Kunduz residents effectively trapped in an increasingly insecure “secured” city.